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Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio vol. II (of

Due east below the Wu chiao rock


O

ye sons and daughters of men, if on the 27th of the 3rd moon, fasting and turned towards the north, ye register a vow to pray and repent, and to publish the whole of the _Divine Panorama_ for the enlightenment of mankind, then ye may escape the bitterness of this Seventh Court.

THE EIGHTH COURT.

His Infernal Majesty, Tu Shih, reigns at the bottom of the great Ocean, due east below the Wu-chiao rock, in a vast noisy Court many leagues in extent, subdivided into sixteen wards as follows:--

In the first, the wicked souls are rolled down mountains in carts. In the second, they are shut up in huge saucepans. In the third, they are minced. In the fourth, their noses, eyes, mouths, &c. are stopped up. In the fifth, their uvulas are cut off. In the sixth, they are exposed to all kinds of filth. In the seventh, their extremities are cut off. In the eighth, their viscera[392] are fried. In the ninth, their marrow is cauterized. In the tenth, their bowels are scratched. In the eleventh, they are inwardly burned with fire. In the twelfth, they are disembowelled. In the thirteenth, their chests are torn open. In the fourteenth, their skulls are split and their teeth dragged out. In the fifteenth, they are hacked and gashed. In the sixteenth, they are pricked with steel prongs.

Those who are unfilial, who do not nourish their relatives while alive

or bury them when dead, who subject their parents to fright, sorrow, or anxiety--if they do not quickly repent them of their former sins, the spirit of the Hearth will report their misdoings and gradually deprive them of what prosperity they may be enjoying. Those who indulge in magic and sorcery will, after death, when they have been tortured in the other Courts, be brought here to this Court, and dragged backwards by bull-headed horse-faced devils to be thrust into the great Gehenna. Then when they have been tortured in the various wards they will be passed on to the Tenth Court, whence at the expiration of a _kalpa_[393] they will be sent back to earth with changed heads and faces for ever to find their place amongst the brute creation. But those who believe in the _Divine Panorama_, and on the 1st of the 4th moon make a vow of repentance, repeating the same every night and morning to the Spirit of the Hearth, shall, by virtue of one of three characters, _obedient_, _acquiescent_, or _repentant_, to be traced on their foreheads at death by the Spirit of the Hearth, escape half the punishments from the first to the Seventh Court inclusive, and escape this Eighth Court altogether, being passed on to the Ninth Court, where cases of arson and poisoning are investigated, and finally born again from the Tenth Court among mankind as before.

To this God added, "Whosoever may circulate the _Divine Panorama_ for the information of the world at large shall escape all punishment from the First to the Eighth Court inclusive. Passing through the Ninth and Tenth Courts, they shall be born again amongst men in some happy state."

THE NINTH COURT.

His Infernal Majesty, P'ing Teng, reigns at the bottom of the great Ocean, away to the south-west, below the Wu-chiao rock. His is the vast, circular hell of A-pi, many leagues in breadth, jealously enclosed by an iron net, and subdivided into sixteen wards, as follows:--


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